It was with some trepidation that I booked a 3 hour 1-to-1 with Jim Read. I’m overweight, unfit and not a strong swimmer; 3 hours sounded like a long time. I needn’t have worried. This wasn’t a swimathon, but rather an extremely well structured and run educational session. It was clear that the 5 hour session would actually have been fine, even for a poor swimmer like me.
Jim is clearly an enthusiast, but he uses this to motivate and encourage throughout the lesson. He has the nicest way of telling you that you’re doing it all wrong that I’ve ever heard. By the end of working through the drills, it was remarkable just how much my swim stroke had changed. The videos are a fantastic training tool, as it’s much easier to grasp what you’re doing wrong when you can actually watch yourself messing it up. They also allow Jim to point out the arm, body and head angles that you should be striving for, compared to how your body position actually is.
I’ve subsequently had some time to work on the stroke whilst on holiday. Every now and then, I get the timing, pull and alignment just right, and can really feel myself surging forward in the water. I can honestly say that I have never felt that before in my life. However, it’s convinced me to keep working on it. I will have to go back for the 2 hour finishing session at some point, as we didn’t cover the correct breathing technique during this session. And there’s only so far you can go on a single breath…
Overall, it was a fantastic session, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone.